One of the best – or more acutely, entertaining – parts of watching anime is keeping up with the anime blogosphere to see how they’re reacting to the anime I’m watching. The best is when a sizable percentage of writers get fired up over the same anime because, dollars to doughnuts, there will be fireworks. It might be something epic that causes people to put 110% in to displaying their love and admiration. It might be something controversial that causes spirited discussions and strongly worded rants on both sides. It might just be something normal that happens to catch everyone’s attention and pulls everyone together to share in the same experience.
I often steer clear of these events because, either, I don’t feel like contributing and rather enjoy what others are saying, or, I feel like contributing but someone has already made my point better than I could have.
It was a combination of the two that stayed my hand from joining the brouhaha that erupted over Kyoto Animation’s summer series, Free!. At first the conflagration was just to fun to watch to attempt to wedge myself in. Besides, beyond being surprised by the sheer overload of man-service found in Free! when KyoAni had become a fan-service free zone for several years, there wasn’t much I was willing to commit to saying.
After the sixth or seventh episode I had an incandescent 100W light bulb moment.
What I realized was that Free! was still just a pretty standard KyoAni series.
If I drew a Venn Diagram of the characteristics of all the series that KyoAni made over the last roughly 6 years, I’d see a very huge overlap between Free! and just about everything else.
For some, Free! being a standard KyoAni series is a bad thing but not me. It’s one of the reasons why I think I was disappointed with Little Busters after really liking AIR, Kanon, and Clannad. This lead to a desire to point this out and tell everyone to repeat to themselves, “‘It’s just a show; I should really just relax.‘” It’s not that big of deal. Of course, by the time I reached this realization, many people had also pointed this very fact out and in a way better than I could have.
That moment still stayed me; so, for getting me to look at shows in new and deeper ways which will further broadened my horizons, I’m picking it today as one of my top moments of 2013.
So, to pick up from yesterday:
On the sixth day of Christmas, my true love gave to me: the freedom to go with the flow.
On the fifth day of Christmas, my true love gave to me: anime to get buzzed from.
On the fourth day of Christmas, my true love gave to me: that final musical montage.
On the third day of Christmas, my true love gave to me: discovered gems during the Animusic Tournament.
On the second day of Christmas, my true love gave to me: the Time of Eve Kickstarter.
On the first day of Christmas, my true love gave to me: that publicity picture.
Tune in tomorrow to see what’s next.